The radio core of the ultraluminous infrared galaxy F00183−7111: watching the birth of a quasar




F00183−7111 is one of the most extreme ultraluminous infrared galaxies known, with a bolometric luminosity of 9 × 1012 L. Here we present a very long baseline interferometry (VLBI)_ image which shows a compact core–jet active galactic nucleus (AGN) in its core, with a radio luminosity (L2.3 GHz= 6 × 1025 W Hz−1) typical of powerful radio galaxies. Although already radio loud, the quasar jets are only 1.7 kpc long, boring through the dense gas and starburst activity that confine them. This source therefore appears to be powered by a combination of a compact radio-loud AGN surrounded by vigorous starburst activity.